Staff writer Moira E. McLaughlin explored Staunton, Va. Here is her reporter's notebook.
About 3 hours
A tank of gas $125-$215 per night for lodging
Staunton, Va., is 158 miles from Washington. Take Interstate 66 west to I-81 south toward Roanoke to Exit 222, US 250 west. Take a slight right onto US 250/US 11/Greenville Avenue. Follow Greenville Avenue into town.
WHERE TO STAY
Ashton Country House Bed and Breakfast (1205 Middlebrook Ave., 540-885-3001 or 877-885-3001, http://www.ashtonhousebnb.com) has rooms for $125 to $215 per night. The Miller House (210 N. New St., 540-886-3186 or 877-886-3186, http://www.millerhousebandb.com) charges $155 to $175 per night. You can find other bed-and-breakfasts at http://www.visitstaunton.com.
WHAT TO DO
See a Shakespeare play at the Blackfriars Playhouse (10 S. Market St., 540-851-1733 or 877-682-4236, http://www.americanshakespearecenter.com). If you go this weekend, you can take a 90-minute ghost tour of the town led by the Shenandoah Valley Paranormal Society on Friday and Saturday nights; call 540-448-2743 for reservations. The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum (18 N. Coalter St., 540-885-0897, http://www.woodrowwilson.org) is open November through February Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday noon-4 p.m. (open until 5 the rest of the year); adults $12, ages 6 to 12 $3, seniors 60 and older $10. Sunspot Studios (202 S. Lewis St., 540-885-0678) has glass-blowing demonstrations Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-4 p.m., Sunday 11:30 a.m.-4 p.m. Nearby vineyards include Cross Keys Vineyards (6011 E. Timber Ridge Rd., Mount Crawford, 540-234-0505, http://www.crosskeysvineyards.com) and Barren Ridge Vineyard s (984 Barren Ridge Rd., Fishersville, 540-248-3300, http://www.barrenridgevineyards.com). North Mountain Outfitter Western-style horseback riding (709 North Mountain Rd., Swoope, 540-886-7768, http://www.northmtnoutfitter.com) charges $90 for a half-day ride and $150 for a full day. The Staunton Farmers Market, at Byers and Johnson streets, is open Saturdays until Nov. 22.
WHERE TO EAT
The Staunton Grocery (105 W. Beverley St., 540-886-6880, http://www.stauntongrocery.com) is open Tuesday-Saturday 5:30-9 p.m., Sunday 5-8 p.m. Call for a reservation. Byers Street Bistro (18 Byers St., 540-887-6100, http://www.byersstreetbistro.com) is open Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight, Saturday-Sunday 4 p.m.-midnight. Mugshots (32 S. New St., 540-887-0005) and t he Pampered Palate Cafe (26-28 E. Beverley St., 540-886-9463, http://www.thepamperedpalatecafe.com) are great for breakfast and lunch. The Pampered Palate will also prepare a picnic basket for you.
Staunton Convention and Visitors Bureau,800-342-7982, http://www.visitstaunton.com.